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Greetings all,

My 5-yr old Aussie got blood test results (twice) indicating elevated SDMA levels...early warning sign of kidney disease. All his other blood test levels were totally fine, and he is totally normal in terms of energy level, drinking, eating, pee-ing, poo-ing, etc. We have put him on KD diet, and are still trying to figure out what is going on. It seems very unlikely that he is eating toxic things. The vet indicated that it was not genetic because it didn't show up in earlier tests...so I guess we are trusting her on that for now.

Anyway, we want to do whatever we can do to remediate the problem, or halt the progression. We are looking for a vet who specializes in canine kidney issues (feel free to point us in the right direction re: that goal), but in the meantime, we are wondering if there are any nutritional supplements someone can recommend that are good for kidney health?

I see a lot of products online that claim kidney benefits, but I don't know which (if any) of those are particularly well regarded by vets and by others with relevant experience or expertise. I certainly don't want to choose something that could make the situation worse! Also, most of the kidney-health products I see are pitched at older dogs (and consequently may include some joint-health-related stuff as well), but my dog is only five yrs old, and has absolutely no joint or arthritis issues at all.

Anyway, just fishing for advice here, so feel free to drop any kidney-nutrient advice or recommendations on me! Also, apart from specifically kidney-related stuff, are there any good-for-overall-health multi-vitamin supplements I should consider? I have never had to give any of my dogs any meds or supplements in the past until they were over 12 and solidly in geriatric territory, so I don't know when or if such good-for-overall-health multi-vitamin supplements are warranted.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Otherchuck
 

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There are renal supplements available for dogs, but sorry I never tried any. Hopefully someone else will know. I do know with elevated kidney enzyme levels, the dogs are usually prescribed a low protein diet for a period and then reassess the levels to see if kidneys rejuvenate. I assume the vet checked for infection? Infection could cause acute elavated levels.

Also you are sure your dog isn't munching on anything toxic outside? Just FYI I'm so blown away by how many things are toxic to dogs (often affecting the kidneys).

Sorry I'm not much help, but hoping for your pup. Good luck!
 

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There are renal supplements available for dogs, but sorry I never tried any. Hopefully someone else will know. I do know with elevated kidney enzyme levels, the dogs are usually prescribed a low protein diet for a period and then reassess the levels to see if kidneys rejuvenate. I assume the vet checked for infection? Infection could cause acute elavated levels.

Also you are sure your dog isn't munching on anything toxic outside? Just FYI I'm so blown away by how many things are toxic to dogs (often affecting the kidneys).

Sorry I'm not much help, but hoping for your pup. Good luck!
Thanks for the response. My dog, Sky, did have an infection because he had a foxtail embedded in his side which had to be surgically cut out. That was the reason for the first bloodtest. After the surgery, and treatment for the infection, the infection was indeed gone and we did a follow-up bloodtest about 2 months after the first one. His SDMA levels had increased in that time, but his other levels (e.g., BUN, creatinine) remained normal. He has been on KD prescription diet since the first bloodtest, which I assume is low protein.

We are concerned about some of the things he munches on, but he really only munches on things on our daily walks...so, yes, he does eat some stuff, but its not like he is chowing down on stuff all day in the backyard. We live out in the country where there are lots of horses, and he eats horse poo sometimes. My wife has researched that issue and seems to think he would need to eat tons more of it to cause any problems. He chews on the stalks left over from dead black mustard plants; I think he likes those because they are easier to crunch than sticks, and we are a little concerned about that because the foliage of black mustard can be toxic to animals that graze on it...but again that is the foliage and the implication is that an animal would have to eat a ton of it. He also sometimes crunches on acorns, and I know those can be toxic, but when he "eats" mustard stalks and acorns, he mostly just crunches on them, and probably only consumes a bit of what he chews. We would have to put a muzzle on him on our walks to prevent him from chewing that stuff.

We are going to consult with a canine kidney specialist, and get another bloodtest in a couple months.

Again, thanks for your concern!
 

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Thanks for the response. My dog, Sky, did have an infection because he had a foxtail embedded in his side which had to be surgically cut out. That was the reason for the first bloodtest. After the surgery, and treatment for the infection, the infection was indeed gone and we did a follow-up bloodtest about 2 months after the first one. His SDMA levels had increased in that time, but his other levels (e.g., BUN, creatinine) remained normal. He has been on KD prescription diet since the first bloodtest, which I assume is low protein.

We are concerned about some of the things he munches on, but he really only munches on things on our daily walks...so, yes, he does eat some stuff, but its not like he is chowing down on stuff all day in the backyard. We live out in the country where there are lots of horses, and he eats horse poo sometimes. My wife has researched that issue and seems to think he would need to eat tons more of it to cause any problems. He chews on the stalks left over from dead black mustard plants; I think he likes those because they are easier to crunch than sticks, and we are a little concerned about that because the foliage of black mustard can be toxic to animals that graze on it...but again that is the foliage and the implication is that an animal would have to eat a ton of it. He also sometimes crunches on acorns, and I know those can be toxic, but when he "eats" mustard stalks and acorns, he mostly just crunches on them, and probably only consumes a bit of what he chews. We would have to put a muzzle on him on our walks to prevent him from chewing that stuff.

We are going to consult with a canine kidney specialist, and get another bloodtest in a couple months.

Again, thanks for your concern!
Oh yes, I remember this now. Yeah acorns are bad news. I would really try to keep him away from chewing things off trees, flowers and the like. I know with grapes it can take very little to send a dog into accute kidney failure and is not relative to the intake amount and size of dog, but depends on the individual dog themselves and how they react.

He is just so young (like you say) with no other issues or signs, so I'm hoping he gets over this no problem and back to normal kidney tests. It sounds like your vet thinks (or implying) is an external environmental issue, not hereditary right?

Like you I've only had experience with renal failure of my older dog (almost 15YO) and she was having trouble digesting food and being picky prior to realizing the issue. Based on what my vet explained, it looks much better for your boy. Sending good vibes!
 

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Oh yes, I remember this now. Yeah acorns are bad news. I would really try to keep him away from chewing things off trees, flowers and the like. I know with grapes it can take very little to send a dog into accute kidney failure and is not relative to the intake amount and size of dog, but depends on the individual dog themselves and how they react.

He is just so young (like you say) with no other issues or signs, so I'm hoping he gets over this no problem and back to normal kidney tests. It sounds like your vet thinks (or implying) is an external environmental issue, not hereditary right?

Like you I've only had experience with renal failure of my older dog (almost 15YO) and she was having trouble digesting food and being picky prior to realizing the issue. Based on what my vet explained, it looks much better for your boy. Sending good vibes!
Yes, I am not happy about the acorns but my wife notes that he had his kidney issues before we had a huge acorn drop around here recently, and it has only been on recent walks where he will occasionally pick one up and chew on it. In fact, he often will pick one up, look at us as if he has found a little treasure he doesn't know what to do with, then go over to the softer soil near a fenceline and bury it! People along our walk have grapes growing where he could get them, but fortunately he shows no interest. The coyotes around here do eat a bunch of grapes because we see them undigested in their poop; since they are canines as well, I wonder if they suffer ill effects.

And, yes, the vet declared it to be not genetic because the problem would have shown up on earlier bloodtests; she seemed sure when she said that, but it is something I will be pursuing with a specialist.

Thanks for the good vibes!
 
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